The End of Self-Access?: From Walled Garden to Public Park

by Hayo Reinders
Middlesex University, United Kingdom


I’ll admit the title is deliberately trying to provoke a reaction but it reflects a genuine concern I have had for some time. To my mind, self-access is in danger of slipping far away from the forefront of educational innovation it once occupied. In this short discussion piece, I’ll argue that there are ‘push factors’ for this — reasons why self-access may no longer be a satisfactory approach for its intended purposes, and ‘pull factors’ — more promising alternative solutions to the development of language learning skills.

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2 thoughts on “The End of Self-Access?: From Walled Garden to Public Park

  1. From my interactions with language schools, I can see that adult language learners certainly want to access the materials in another way than through books, so as long as copyright exists, “walled gardens” have a place.

    But I absolutely agree that sites like Facebook, Twitter and many other social networks have a lower barrier to entry. Students are there already. Why not take the lessons there?

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